Egypt clinches title in style

The defeat to Pakistan in the previous edition [2016] in Poland must have really hurt Egypt.

Cut to the quick, Egypt channelled all its resources and talent towards one purpose: to reclaim the crown.

Such has been Egypt’s domination in the world junior squash championships here that it hasn’t lost a game, leaving opponents clueless and hapless. In the final at the EA Mall here on Sunday, it inflicted a 2-0 defeat over England to claim its sixth boys’ team title.

It wasn’t a stroll in the park for top seed Marwan Tarek, though, when he took on Nicolas Wall in the first match. Wall gave it his all. He stretched Tarek for every point, made the Egyptian work for every one. But even that was not enough as Tarek went on to win 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 in 45 minutes.

Minor challenge

Then, Omar El Torkey subdued a minor challenge from Sam Todd, before winning 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 and gaving Egypt the crown.

Wall pushed Tarek really hard, especially in the first game. The Englishman saved three game points at 10-7, but Tarek raced ahead thanks to his superior court coverage and consistency.

The first game of the second match, too, was close. Todd had two game points at 10-9 and 11-10 before Torkey showed his calibre by forcing Todd to make errors with his superior back court play and deception.

The moment Egypt won the second tie, the entire team stormed into the glass court jumping with joy.

Marwan Tarek, who was part of the boys’ team in Poland, said it’s a great honour to have won the trophy for the country. “I’ve never won this one. It is such a great achievement. We wanted to do this. Losing to Pakistan [in the final] did upset me. I have won everything in juniors. This was only one missing. I am so happy to end my junior career with the title,” he said. “Country is much, much bigger than your name. Winning it for Egypt, for the people back home and for the [Egypt Squash] Federation. We don’t play for ourselves.”

Motany said the victory was due to the team’s meticulous planning. “We have been focused throughout. We have been planning [for this] for two years. We have fulfilled our dream now,” he said. “Not losing a game in the team event , I think is a record of sorts.”

England coach Lee Drew gave full credit to Egypt while praising his boys for their efforts. “Egypt is a strong team. Our players gave it all. The first game of both the matches went into a tie-break. We committed far too many errors that cost us the match. I am happy for the efforts put in by the players. They tested the Egyptians. There is lot of quality in our team,” he said.

The results:

Final: 1-Egypt bt 3-England 2-0 (Marwan Tarek bt Nicolas Wall 12-10, 11-6, 11-7; Omar El Torkey bt Sam Todd 13-11, 11-4, 11-4)
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